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Daniel Dutton (1848-1931)

Caversham Presbyterian Minister and Boer War Chaplain

Daniel DuttonDaniel Dutton was an Englishman who became a minister for the Primitive Methodist church in 1872. Five years later he was sent to New Zealand to pioneer that church's work in New Zealand. After almost ten years in Auckland, Wellington and Invercargill, Dutton applied to join the Presbyterian Church. In 1888 he became the minister at Caversham, where he was to remain for over 30 years. As a young man, Dutton had trained as a mining engineer and he maintained an interest in scientific studies for the rest of his life. He was a popular lecturer on astronomy and other scientific matters throughout Otago. Dutton was widely admired and loved. He was noted for his geniality and tolerance. This made him an ideal secretary to the committee which negotiated the Otago church's union with the Presbyterian church in the rest of New Zealand in 1901. During the Boer War he joined the New Zealand troops in South Africa as chaplain. He was already over 50 but proved a great success and was invited by the British Army to conduct the peace service at the war's end. When world war broke out in 1914 sixty-six year old Dutton volunteered for service once again. Despite his advanced age the government reluctantly accepted him as a chaplain, bowing to public pressure in his support but refusing to let him near the front.

(Photograph, Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

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